Gabriel John Mallouk
  • 80 years old
  • Date of birth: Aug 6, 1936
  • Date of passing: Nov 24, 2016
  • Place of passing:
    Sidney, British Columbia, Canada
Gabe's love and warmth will live on in our hearts forever.

Gabriel John Mallouk was born on August 6, 1936 in Haifa Palestine.  At the age of 5, following the death of his father and the outbreak of war in the region, his widowed mother dropped he and his younger sister at Catholic orphanages in Jerusalem and travelled with her 3 older children as refugees to Beirut.

Gabe was raised within orphanges in Jerusalem and Emmaus for the next 11 years, studying to enter the priesthood - which he almost did.  By chance, a visiting priest from Beirut recognized his last name, knew his mother from Beirut, and reconnected Gabe with his lost family.  He spent the next 4 years living in Beirut

In 1957 he emigrated with his family to Canada, where he held a variety of jobs in the Toronto area.   In 1968 his mother invited a young visiting nurse from Holland, who worked in the same hospital, back for dinner - and that was how Gabe met his future wife, Ria.  The two wed in 1969; and Steven followed in 1970, then Layla in 1972.

The family settled in Niagara Falls, where Gabe started Mallouk's Candy Kitchen - making candy himself and distributing it across Canada.  A souvenir store in the tourist district followed, and ultimately Gabe became a realtor in 1974.  Over the ensuing 20 years, he was awarded the Salesman of the Year for Niagara Falls 5 separate times and built up his own firm (Mariner Realty).

In addition to running his own business, Gabe was very active in his community - as a member of the Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis and Sertoma.  He also became active in local politics, was a die-hard member of the Liberal Party of Canada, and ultimately served a number of city, provincial and federal politicians in their successful campaigns for office.   He also ran the Downtown Board of Management, a group of merchants looking to revitalize the former core of Niagara Falls.

In 2009, after both of their kids had married and moved to the West Coast, Gabe and Ria relocated to Sidney BC (on Vancouver Island).  He lived out his retirement there.

Gabe was diagnosed with dementia in his later years, but maintained frequent contact with his family.  His wife, their kids and their families all had the opportunity to share meaningful time with him during his final days.  He passed away peacefully, amongst loved ones, on November 24 2016.

Gabe is survived and will always be loved and remembered by his wife Ria (Sidney, BC), his son Steve Mallouk (Bellevue, WA) and Steve's family Christine, Naomi (15), Oliver(10); and his daughter Layla (Victoria, BC) and her family Scott Shea, Alia (12) and Kiera (9).

Cremation has already taken place.   A Celebration of Gabe's Life will be held at 11AM on Monday, December 19 at St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church in Sidney, BC.  For those planning to travel to be in attendance, please let a family member know.   As we will be celebrating Gabe's life, it is not essential to wear black attire.    In lieu of flowers, those wishing tomay make a memorial donation in Gabe's name to the  Resthaven Foundation.  The staff of the Resthaven Lodge, Gabe's home for the past 2 years, provided round the clock loving support to Gabe and the family as they went through this journey, and the family wishes to support Resthaven in providing this level of care to other families in future.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by P Benson on 8th January 2017

"Such a wonderful story about Mr. Mallouk's reuniting with his family as a child.   Keep his memory alive.  These things may help you continue to comfort each other as he would want you to do.    "God is for us a refuge and strength, A help that is readily to be found during distresses.""

This tribute was added by Eileen McConville on 15th December 2016

"I met Gabe through singing. He belonged for a time with the Songbirds
choir in Brentwood Bay and with the Sidney Serenaders in Sidney, both of which I attended .Especially I remember that he invited me to join a group that sang at Rest Haven Lodge, "The Good Time Singers" which was a lot of fun. He was always kind and well-liked in the groups."

This tribute was added by Jo-Ann Sacco on 2nd December 2016

"My deepest sympathy to all of you on the passing of your dear husband/father. I have many good memories of Gabe from my days as the school nurse at StPaul. I am honoured to have known him I hope your memories give you much peace and comfort  Sincerely Jo-Ann Sacco"

This tribute was added by Wil en Erna Popma on 1st December 2016

"Lieve Ria
Wij willen jou en je familie ons oprecht medeleven betuigen met het overlijden van Gabe. Wij hebben heel goede herinneringen aan onze vacantie, ruim 6 jaar geleden, naar Canada. Vooral ons gezamelijke bezoek met jullie beiden aan "the Butchard Gardens" en onze gesprekken daar, staan ons nog voor de geest.
Wij wensen jou, je kinderen en hun families heel veel sterkte toe in de komende tijd.
Lieve groet van ons                        Erna en Wil Popma"

This tribute was added by Barbara Tooke on 1st December 2016

"so sorry to hear about your loss Gab helped us purchase two homes he was great  we think of he often  he was a very nice person  very caring  God Bless you all and may you find peace in the new year  Barbara @ Edward Tooke  Niagara Falls ON"

This tribute was added by Nelly and Nico Tessel on 1st December 2016

"Dear Ria, Steve and Layla

Our condolences with the loss of Gabe from Nico, and Nelly, Natasja, Patrick and Quido Tessel.
Our memories are with Niagara Falls where we met you all and we tried to get used to Canada after our immigration from Holland.
Ria, you and Nelly are from the same class of the elementary school in Spanbroek.
Gabe was a wise man with a contagious smile, who put us all at ease.
Gabe went trough a lot in his young life, but came out very positive and an example for us all.
Gabe, may you rest in Peace.
Ria and Family may you find peace on your beautiful memories of Gabe."

This tribute was added by Lib Zappitelli on 30th November 2016

"Annina and I are very sorry for your loss.  Our prayers and thoughts are with you.  May he RIP."

This tribute was added by Lianne Vriend on 30th November 2016

"Lieve Tante Ria, Steve, Layla,

Please know that from the other side of the ocean, we are grieving with you on the loss of Oom Gabriel. I have very fond memories of him, especially from when I was 16 years old, and I came to visit you for a summer together with Margriet. We had a wonderfull summer, and it gave us the opportunity to get to know each of you a little better. During that time I came to know Oom Gabriel as a very dedicated and a very loving person.
I would like to wish you strength in this difficult time, you are in our thoughts.
Veel liefs, Lianne & fam."

This tribute was added by FatimaBryan Warner on 30th November 2016

"I remember first meeting Gabe when they moved to Sidney, his warm smile and friendly personality were contagious.  He had the gift of being inclusive of everyone.  His active listening skills brought Ria and I together when he heard that I loved to walk. He suggested we might like to walk together and that was the start of a treasured friendship with Ria, sharing regular walks and meaningful conversation.
Even when I visited Gabe in the home, he always had a SMILE that made me feel appreciated, a SMILE that lit up the room.  He always appreciated the little things and our visits were always very worthwhile.  
Gabe’s  battle is over.  No more suffering, no more pain, no more Alzheimer’s disease.  
May you rest in Peace, Gabe.  Our fond memories of you will live on."

This tribute was added by Lisa Adshead on 29th November 2016

"My mom (Margaret) and I are very sorry for your loss.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time."

This tribute was added by Danny Maida on 29th November 2016

"To Maria and Family, sincere condolences from Danny and Maureen Maida."

This tribute was added by Peter Van Helsdingen on 29th November 2016

"Ria, Steve, Layla, and family; On behalf of the Van Helsdingen Family our sincere condolences for Gabe.  Personally Gabe was a mentor of mine growing up and great friends with my father. I learned many attributes from your father and I truly believe he was a leader in Niagara Falls. Rosalee and I would not be where we are today without his mentors hip. Many memories in your home over the years and your constant hospitality Ria with Gabe at your home. Gabe will never be forgotten."

This tribute was added by christine beatty on 29th November 2016

"Dear Ria and family,
                                I was so sorry to read about Gabe. I've thought of you often over the years since you left Niagara Falls but I'm happy that you had some time together with you daughter and family.May your faith and family help you through this difficult time and your memories keep Gabe close to your hearts
       My thoughts and prayers are with you all-your old neighbour,
                                                   Christine Beatty"

This tribute was added by Naomi Chen-Mallouk on 29th November 2016

"Maybe grandfathers always spoil their grand-daughters and sneak her pieces of chocolate. Maybe grandfathers do not mind spending hours in uncomfortable plastic chairs, making pink elephants with a little girl sitting across from them in poufy, sparkly dresses. I would not know. I never asked.

Maybe grandfathers always push that little girl on the swings as she grips on tightly and squeals “Higher,” just to hear her laugh. They watch her proudly as she displays how she can swing across the monkey bars so well now because she is a big girl. She tells them to come chase her, because she does not know their decrepit joints protest whenever they move quickly. Yet, they run after her across the playground with aching bones as she bolts ahead, carefree.

Maybe grandfathers do not care if their naps are interrupted by messily drawn invitations to tea parties. They sit under the apple tree on the multicolored towel and sip water out of glass tea cups. She is a princess; tangled hair, muddy feet, and all. She giggles when her grandfather sticks out his pinky and cheerfully pours more of the flavorless liquid into his teacup.

Hand-in-hand with his grand-daughter who radiates happiness like the sun beating down on them, the pair spring into each crashing wave. With each incoming wave she counts down from three and then shrieks for them to jump. When they land she explodes into a fit of giggles, and maybe her grandfather smiles because he loves the sound of her laughter. Maybe he finds her fearless, a tiny bird leaping into waves powerful enough to knock her over, undaunted.

Maybe all grandfathers give their grand-daughters baths with mountains of bubbles and plastic toys littering the water. They just tilt her head back and cover her eyes as the rinse out the shampoo, because they do not want to get soap in her eyes. They do not care if she splashes around or how much sudsy water ends up on their clothes. He brushes her teeth, maybe because he wants to preserve her white teeth that smile up at him at bedtime before he kisses her cheek.

Maybe I was too busy waiting to grow up to acknowledge time passing by, unaware of my aging grandfather whose memory fades more every day. I forgot our tea parties and afternoons at the park. Only when he sits in a wheelchair, just enough memory left to remember people’s faces, these moments come crashing back like the waves we used to jump in. I began to realize how much love and patience my grandfather showed me. Now, I try to reciprocate the love he once gave me. I push his wheelchair, draw him pictures, and send him emails. But patience is tedious and the man who was once my grandfather disappeared. In his place is a long list of maybes whose answers have been left in the past."

This tribute was added by Ramzi Mallouk on 28th November 2016

"Uncle Gaby I'm so thankful Joy and I had a few hours to spend with you and ever so happy to see the infectious smile you always displayed. It broke our hearts to see what this desease had done to such a virbrant fun loving Uncle. All my brothers and sisters owe you so much for being our guiding light through our early years. We will forever be grateful and never forget. We love you. Rest in Peace"

This tribute was added by GEORGE MALLOUK on 28th November 2016

"Uncle Gabby, thank you for being there for me as a child and through the years of my troubled youth.  I hold dear the memories of just hanging out with you,  working with you and for you.  I tell everyone that will listen about my days making and serving  fudge in summer.  We drifted apart as years went by but your love and the life lessons you taught  have always remained with me.
And huge thank you for my gold 3 speed Mustang bike, I was the coolest kid in the neighborhood because of you. Rest in Peace.
Love always."

This tribute was added by Anna Aagaard on 28th November 2016

"My sincere condolences to Ria, Steven, Layla and their families on Gaby's passing. Gaby was my uncle and long before he had a lovely family of his own, there was always much excitement at our house when we heard that Uncle Gaby was coming for a visit! The 5 of us children, his nieces & nephews, would gather at the door of our house watching in anticipation for his panel van to pull in. Once he arrived and we all received our bear hugs from him, our eyes grew large as we each received a big piece of fudge or chocolate he had made in his candy store. Then we all got down to some serious playing and rolling around on the floor with Uncle Gaby as he continued to entertain us for the rest of his visit. After a couple of hours of play, he would announce that it was time to get in his van and go for a nice country drive. Hooting and hollering in delight, we would all load into the back of his van, enjoying every minute of being with him. Gaby was a gentle and loving soul and we will miss him. He taught us that life can be full of fun and enjoyment, even if you don't have much else, and that love is unconditional."

This tribute was added by Evert Dibbets on 27th November 2016

"Dear Ria, Steve and Layla,

I was so sorry to hear this news. All the best for you and your families.
I met Gabe only a few times and I remember he made quite an impression on me. A serious business man that laughed with his children.
Love from Holland, Evert Dibbets and family"

This tribute was added by Christine Chen-Mallouk on 27th November 2016

"i have an unconditional love for my father-in-law. He was a man of few words, had the warmest bear hug as if he knew you from forever ago, the most genuine smile, huge full hearted laughter, and a heart that's make of gold.
Abandoned at age of 5, living behind bulleted walls with other orphans, little attention received as the priests and children ratio just was that way, gun firing sounds that's part of daily occurrences, he chose to not only forgive his mother for not choosing to bring him along for her escape. He reunited, immigrated, had a close relationship with her during her good years,  and kept his vigilance and tended to her during her sickness and her death.
In spite of his upbringing, dad was always ready to help anyone in need. He did that not only for his extended family, but also children of friends and strangers. He was taken advantage of many times in his life, sometimes it might frustrate him, he might be mad. But he never stopped giving. Some said he was gullible. But his empathetic heart just refused to harden.
An immigrant, he worked hard in order to provide for his family. He was never afraid to put in the long hours. He brought the same mentality when he was with us. He always asked if I needed his help in the kitchen when I cooked. He asked for projects to do around our house - mending, building, painting. He spend hours playing with my kids in the sandbox he built in my backyard, making food play doh around our little blue plastic table that's way too small for him, building legos, participating in make believe tea that thrilled my children that I'm happy to be relieved of when he visited. Every Christmas, I missed him most acutely. He stayed up till the  wee hours of morning to help us wrap the gazillion presents we have bought for our children on the eve of Xmas day.
Every visit, dad stayed past his bedtime every night, patiently waiting for Steve and I to be done with the day, so we can watch something on tv together, or play a few games of backgammon.
Dad was a long time smoker. When I was pregnant, I wrote him a letter in the voice of my unborn baby, asking him to kick his habit for the baby's sake. He did it cold turkey when Naomi is born.
I was his confidante. He shared feelings with me otherwise he kept to himself. I teased him, and we laughed at our  jokes. Coming from a different culture and exposure of foods, he was open minded to anything I put his way. Once, I told dad to try my favorite "king of fruits" durian when he was in Singapore. He ate the whole fruit with me outside the house because steve and my mother-in-law can't even tolerate the smell from a mile away.
My father-in-law, when he was still in his good health, held my hands, looked me in the eye, and told me how he appreciated how I've helped Steve and him become closer after Steve and I got married. He showed me heartfelt appreciation.
I miss Dad. He is the one person I truly can say I have no regrets with. We have said and showed our adoration of each other during his time here on earth.
Thank you dad!
May you now be in a place full of love, compassion and colors."

This tribute was added by Steve Mallouk on 27th November 2016

"Thanksgiving will always carry extra meaning for me after today.

This morning, at 8:28am, my father and one of the true heroes of my life, Gabriel Mallouk passed away. Over the past 24 hours, he was surrounded by immense amounts of love from his family and all of his grandchildren -- and despite having recently suffered a stroke and years of worsening dementia -- he knew we were there, and let us know that he knew. He was a fighter, and fought to the end, before giving into a peaceful last breath.

My father travelled an incredible journey in his 80 years. Born in Haifa, Palestine -- he was left in a Catholic orphanage in Jerusalem at 5 years old as his family had to leave a war-torn land on foot as refugees, and couldn't bring him or his younger sister. After refusing to become a priest (fortunate for me), he re-united with his mother and older brothers in Beirut, Lebanon in his late teens, then immigrated to Canada a few years later as refugees.

Dad was the prototypical example of a refugee who arrived in his new country without a penny to his name, worked hard and built a life for his family. He started multiple businesses, won recognition multiple times for being at the top of his field, was active in community causes, and became very active in supporting political causes and candidates that he believed in. Yet he still found time to drive me to hockey practices and games, have breakfast with me every Saturday morning after practice, and was proud for his company's name to be my team's sponsor every year I played.

Those who met dad knew his generosity, his warmth, and his love. He always had a big warm smile for anybody around him, and often a big hug for those he knew. He never hesitated to give his time and energy to worthy causes - always trying to make his adopted community and country a better place.

Throughout my life I looked up to him. He taught me what it means to be responsible as a husband and as a father, how to be honest and upstanding, and how to always try to make the world a better place. I can only hope to replicate in my time on this planet the incredible feats he accomplished.

I miss you dad, and I will love you always."

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This memorial is administered by:

Layla Shea
Layla Shea
Ria Mallouk
Steve Mallouk


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